Funny Girls of Fertility

Believe in Something

Sharon
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I'm a Texan, so you know I have to show some love for Barbara Bush.  When they were going over her most memorable moments something stood out to me.  I won’t quote it all, but the gist of it is “believe in something larger than yourself.”

Being on social media, I wonder if people even know what that means anymore.  Maybe I’m taking it the wrong way, but how I see it, is like this (and yes, I’m aware I won’t be making any friends saying all this)…..

I had a sponsored ad pop up on my Instagram.  It was a family that was announcing they’re pregnant with their 3rd child, this chick was like a fashion blogger or something. 

Was she cute?  Of course.

 Was her family cute? Yes. 

Was it obnoxious when I read, “if you didn’t see our Facebook live about our 3rd baby then check out my latest post?” Ab-so-fucking-lutely. 

It got worse, little Sally Duncan is now paying for “sponsored ads” so you can see pictures of her laundry room, and her kids playing with a roll of toilet paper.  I remember back in the day of Myspace where people posted pictures that they got off their disposable camera. Life 15 years ago wasn’t staged.  I didn’t scroll through social media, and see EVEYRONE giving me life advice or pretending like they’re perfect.  

I know what made me want to write about this though.  I saw a lady who had just given birth, (literally like a few hours before she posted) and it wasn’t the fact that she shared her newborn photos because duh everyone and their dog wants to show off their new cute baby. It was the fact that she was using her child’s birth to sell t-shirts.  Like “get a discount to celebrate the birth of my baby by using this code.”  STOP WHORING OUT YOUR CHILDREN, Y’ALL.  Okay, totally overstepping my boundaries because I know it’s not my business what people do with their own children, but for the love of Jesus, is nothing sacred anymore?!?!  

If you do something solely for a “picture” then you’re doing something wrong.  

 I personally blog because it helps me.  It’s a release, I have a TON of emotions inside of me, and this is the only way (besides running) that I feel allows those feelings to escape.  Sometimes I feel dumb posting stuff because my thought process is, “do these people really give two shits what’s going on with me right now?”  Maybe not, but if there is one person who has experienced heartbreak, loss, disappointment, I hope that my word vomit can help them in some way. 

I try to be extremely transparent.  My life has not been glamourous, but I’m not sitting here pinching my fat while I bend over screaming at you about how real I am. I don’t have to prove my authenticity, and I feel like SO many other people need this validation for some extremely odd reason. Maybe they feel they have to say how real they are because they’re lost in this social media shit-stew not even knowing what’s real or fake anymore.  I’ve aired my dirty laundry from my terrible NachoTwat relationship to my non-existent relationship with my mother.  I don’t try to motivate people with a selfie and some inspirational bullshit quote because to me, that isn’t real. 

If you don’t get annoyed seeing Candice post about how amazing her kale diet is and how you should follow her “latest post” or “turn on notifications”, then you probably won’t understand this rambling.

I want to get back to the day where people cared about MORE than “likes”.  Do something because you want to help someone, make a difference, add value. “Caring for others is an expression of what it means to be fully human.” – Hillary Clinton 

 Fortunately for me, working in health care gives me ample opportunities to give back, which I am forever grateful for.  I have an extreme thirst for the majority of the population to go back to being fully human. Care about more than your selfie or your latest IG post, care about others, and let’s watch the world become less Twat-y one person at a time.

 

The Royal Douche Wedding

Sharon
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Everyone pour one out because this will be my last and final time to ever write about Nacho Twat.  In honor of the Royal Wedding.. this one is for you Mitchy-poo….

One year ago my heart (what I thought) was completely broken.  I experienced the most toxic mentally/verbally abusive relationship that I would not wish upon anyone.  Coming from my childhood you would think I would have been used to it, but this was a different level.  There were nights I went to sleep after the end of Nacho, and wondered how I was going to get through this much heartache.   I’m sure everyone has been there, so deep in your own misery, you’re not quite sure when you’ll escape it.   I cried every damn day for MONTHS.  If you think I’m being facetious, I’m not, tears EVERY DAMN DAY.  It hurt THAT bad. This weekend though, Mitch is marrying Nacho.  He is solidifying his love for someone he told me for a year that he couldn’t stand.  Even though I’m SO over him, and EXTREMELY grateful that that isn’t my life anymore, I still feel a tiny little ache.  The ache is not because I would EVER take that little fucker back because I wouldn’t.  Never, never, never, never, ever.  That 130lb of douchery can blow away with the breeze. The little ache I feel is more of a distrust of people.  Maybe the little ache was because I was played like a damn fool.  I can’t really explain it, but after that shit show of a relationship I had a slight distrust of people in general. It took me a long time to get to where I am now, and I still have moments where I question people’s motives.  I feel like today people have lost touch with genuine connections.  I haven’t.  I thought I had that with Mitch and it was something I appreciated, but it was very much one sided.

 

I guess my point of this royal douche wedding ramble is that whatever phase of life you’re in, maybe you are in a dark hole where you feel like you won’t escape.  Maybe you feel like you’ll never be content or even happy again.  I was totally there.  I wallowed in my own misery.  I honestly never thought I would be so happy to be rid of him, but everything really does work out exactly how it’s supposed to.  Let’s use some of the douche canoes own song lyrics for this Gandhi moment,

“Getting through the night ain’t quite as tough, that pain is letting up.”

It’s true.  Nights were always the hardest for me after it ended, I think it’s because that’s when all your thoughts come to haunt you.  Every night got a little bit easier for me.  Every day went by a little bit quicker.  I thought about him less and less, until I got to the point where I didn’t think about him at all. Now if he does pop up in my mind I think, “Thank God for the lessons.  Thank God that Mitch let me see my true value, and how deserving I am of good.  Thank God for taking that little bitch and throwing his scrawny ass back to Nashville and out of my life.” :)

I truly hope that he and Nacho live in an endless fountain of cheesy happiness.  I think everyone deserves to feel contentment in their heart, mine was never with him.  Happy wedding day, bitches!!

The Day of Dread

Sharon
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Mother’s Day, if I could rhyme it with the word “fuck” I would.

I DESPISE this day.  DESPISE it.  Almost can’t handle it.

It’s an emotional day for me that I wish away every single year.  Even as a parent myself, I still don’t enjoy it.  It’s a constant reminder of what I have missed in my life.

For those of you not up to date here is a quick synopsis (to not bore those who are strong and steady with me, love you BOOP) my mother dislikes me to the core.  One might say she hates me.  She always has.  I couldn’t give you one reason why she feels this way about me, but she does.

Mother’s Day is a yearly reminder of everyone who has an amazing, movie-like relationship with their mothers.  Troop Beverly Hills comes to mind when I think of movies where I envy the mother/daughter relationship.  For you youngins you probably don’t remember that movie, but it’s a gem.  When I would watch movies like this, I felt out of touch.  I don’t know what it’s like to be loved by a mom. I don’t even know what it’s like to have a conversation, let alone a relationship with my mother.

As a parent, I am constantly reminding myself I will not end up like my mother.  I’m already different.  I give hugs, I say I love you, I give praise, I say “I’m proud of you”, I listen, I give my time, and I love selflessly.  I’m hard on myself though because I know how bad it is to go without the affection of a parent.  I know how hard it is to never hear “I’m proud of you.”  I know how terrible it feels to grow up thinking that you’re not enough.  I know how bad it feels to not have someone protect you when you’re too young to protect yourself. When you don’t have that reassurance as a child, you can really end up being quite the fucked up adult.  How I didn’t go down a million wrong paths will always amaze me.  Talking to my therapist over the last year and a half I’ve realized how resilient I was as a child, and what an even more resilient adult it has made me become. 

“Those who left, left us a lesson.”  My lesson was to not make the same mistakes that were made with me throughout my childhood, to love without fear, to open my heart without being afraid of all the risk.

When I first wrote about my mom, a few people from high school reached out to me shocked because they had NO idea what I had dealt with, one stuck out to me in particular.  She too has a mother with borderline personality disorder.  When she read my blog she felt the pain in my writing, she understood the feeling of not being enough, and yet she had no idea that I had lived through all of that.  She told me she admired me through high school and had always looked up to me.  Little did she know what a hot fucking mess I really was.  I was living by myself at 16, hiding it from the world to try to keep up my perfect image. 

What you see of people is 1/16th of the real picture.  Shit can go down behind closed doors, and I am the perfect example of that.  I hide the hurt behind laughter.  Sometimes I’m weak, I need reassurance, I need to be reminded that I am liked.  I can be completely insecure, but behind all that is strength because I’ve endured through some real shit experiences. 

If my mother ever read my blog, I would tell her that I am sorry.  I’m sorry that she missed out on being a grandparent.  I’m sorry that she has anger in her heart, and that she doesn’t know what unconditional love is. Mostly, I’m sorry that she will never know me as a person.  I think that’s a huge loss for her.

Maybe that’s why I feel like I can empathize with those dealing with fertility issues so well.  Although the ache of wanting a baby may be different than the ache of wanting a mother who cares about you, it’s still a longing for something that isn’t happening.

I’m going to stop rambling now.. but for those of you who dislike mother’s day like I do… I’m going to drink a Tito’s for you (maybe a couple).  For those of you celebrating your first, fourth, thirteenth, twenty-seventh mother’s day, I hope you love your children with every ounce of your being, and know that THEY are the reason you even get to celebrate mother’s day.  Don’t take the love of a child for granted because there are some people who dream of being called “Mom” that aren’t as fortunate.

Legit to Quit

Sharon
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            I think one of the hardest things in life is persevering through times where you really just want to throw yourself under your covers, turn on some shark week and kill your cardiovascular health drinking queso like it’s your job.  Maybe just me?! 

            A previous patient (that I’m actually friends with post-infertility life) was probably one of the patients I had the hardest time helping.  This woman got SHIT on.  Shit on might be an understatement.  Pretty much she lived underneath a manure farm.  I honestly can’t count how many losses she had.  Not just IUI/IVF/FET fails, but miscarriages (even late miscarriages).  I see myself as a strong ass MF’er, but there was no way I could have endured what she did.  There was the occasional time I saw her break a little bit, but she was so hell bent on making it work that nothing was going to stop her. (I can note that she is now over half way through her pregnancy after YEARS of failure, persistence paid off.)

            Sometimes when I look at my life I wonder why the hell I ever complain.  Although, through therapy I have realized it’s okay for me to complain because my issues bother me, and I don’t have to ignore that (that was $130 an hour of knowledge right there so soak that shit up).  Carrying on… it’s extremely hard for me to write when I’m not boiling over with emotion (hence why I’ve been on a blog hiatus).  Y’all know the country twat that broke my heart, thought I would never recover (I’m laughing so hard at Starbucks writing that because it’s THAT crazy).   I obviously bounced back with a vengeance, and now here I am in an extremely happy situation that is also complicated.  Add on to it, being a parent, full time graduate student, I do somewhat work, writer extraordinaire (laugh with me now)… I broke.   Totally broke.  I don’t try to give off the image that I have my shit together because I 100% don’t.   I just threw my hands up and said, “I can’t handle all this anymore, it’s too much.”  When people are so use to seeing you be outwardly strong, they don’t know what to do when you get to these breaking points.  I have them all the time though, mostly my close friends only have to endure them.  Thanks to my amazing childhood (sarcasm is OOZING) I have a shit ton of self-doubt, at times I’m insecure AF, I’m EXTREMELY hard on myself, and I need more reassurance than I even like to admit. 

           Everyone goes through points in their life when they wonder if they will get to the other side.  (I just totally had a “why did the chicken cross the road moment”.) There are times where I feel like my life is Groundhogs day, and I wonder why I put myself through all the shit that I do.  There are other days where I’m like holy hell I’m SO fortunate to be where I’m at.  Here I come with my motivational poster quote of the week……….

“Just underneath your breaking point lies your true strength”

            I hope this quote speaks to anyone going through a breaking point in their life right now.  After my mini-meltdown (almost shaved my head like Britney, bitch.  Kidding) I got it together, took a deep breath, and luckily was given grace.  Don’t let all the pretty pictures of social media fool you into thinking that anyone goes through life without (at some point) feeling a little broken.

Pursuing Happiness

Sharon
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 I mean who didn’t love the movie, “The Pursuit of Happiness”?!?!  I know I cried like a little baby in it!  I’m also a huge fan of Will Smith, probably goes back to the days of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Getting’ Jiggy wit It.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, we probably can’t be friends.  How do I always digress so much, so quickly?! Anywho….

 If you haven’t seen “The Pursuit of Happiness”, quick synopsis.  Will Smith and his kid get kicked out of their apartment because they’re broke, he takes a job as an intern at a brokerage with no pay, they have to live in a shelter, until he finally makes it.  Oops spoiler alert.  The point is that even though they went through some terrible times, and he was chasing happiness (which he thought was money) he finally realized his happiness was having his family.

 I think sometimes you don’t realize what you have right in front of you, we’re always chasing something, right? It’s taken me a lot of difficult life events, and a lot of growth to realize what happiness really is.  I know people see my Instagram stories and think, “this woman is crazy.”  You’re probably right.  I’m no longer in the pursuit of happiness because I found it.  I found it in some of my darkest days. I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me, and truly embraced who I am as a person.  I’m for sure not everyone’s cup of tea, I’m a lot for myself some days.  When I wake up I feel so much happiness in my heart because I appreciate the little things.

I appreciate the fact I wake up, the sun, crazy clouds, the trees (I live in a city called The Woodlands, and it’s true to its name), the freedom I have to be who I want to be, the education I’ve been able to get, the opportunities that continue to come my way, the friendships I’ve made along the way.  I get into deep thoughts about “YOLO” (you only live once, for you really old people who read this).  I realized that this is my chance to soak up every beautiful/terrible/exciting/adventurous thing life throws my way.

 I think everyone thinks, “Once I have _______, I’ll finally be happy.”  Guess what, it ain’t true. You’ll be happy when you accept your life for what it is in this moment.

 I could think that way right now, “I’ll be happy once I’m done with this semester of grad school.” It’s nuts, and a ton of work, it drives me insane, I feel like I’m drowning most days (obviously my relationship woos weren’t helping with this either).  I could be in a terrible mood, and cry myself to sleep every night thinking I’ll never get caught up (thanks to my Super Bowl adventures) or I can put on my big girl panties and think, “How freaking cool is it that I’m pursuing my THIRD college degree?  How amazing is it that I am fortunate enough to be drowning in an amazing educational opportunity?”  The beauty of this is that I control my thoughts, I control how I see my situation.

 You get to decide if you want to be happy, no one gets to choose that for you.  The pursuit of happiness lies within your own thought process.

 I get told frequently that I exude joy.  I feel it, and I want others to feel it too.  When you see my happy face on social media it’s because I am TRULY that happy.  I haven’t always been this way.  If you knew me through 2016 – early 2017 I was in the darkest hole of my life.. pretty much at the center of the earth, with the earthworms, being a miserable troll.  It wasn’t until I changed my thinking that I felt so incredibly happy, and realized I was in charge of my fate.

Being in school has definitely taught me to find the little joys in everyday life. The patients and other nurses I work with have helped me find my happiness in what I plan on doing in the future.

Getting to wear scrubs every day is such a dream, I mean who couldn’t be happy in these super cute scrubs?!  For those interested, these are Smitten Scrubs Bliss Collection (color: Jazz Berry, pretty sure you can’t pick a better color for spring).  I’m a petite person, and these are true to size (I’m an XS – 5’6 about 115lbs).  They don’t make me look like a blob, and are still comfy, stretchy, and the material is so soft on my skin! I’m always on the go, and these scrubs allow me to run around like the energetic person I am! For people who love pockets, or if you like your scrub tops tucked in, these scrubs have it all!  They’re legit, y’all!

 I hope whatever situation you are facing today you try to spin it in some delusional positive way, it’s not always easy, but life is so much better when you put on those rosy, unicorn glasses.

Not Enough

Sharon
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I for one know I have felt like I wasn’t enough a good majority of my life.

I am a habitual “prover”.  What I mean by that is that I was always trying to prove my worth to anyone and everyone around me.  I’m pretty sure this all stimmed from my childhood.  I didn’t grow up in one of those families that was super supportive, and celebrated accomplishments.  That actually has never really happened for me.  I’ve discussed it before, but I was the first person to graduate college on my Dad’s side of the family.  I finished my first bachelor’s degree in three years because I kind of wanted to prove a point that I could accomplish something no one else in my family had, quicker than they thought I could.  I killed myself.  I never took any time off.  I went from fall to winter intersession, to spring semester, to some more intersession.  Year round for three years.  I now look back at my teenage self and see how crazy I was for not fully enjoying my college experience, time I will never get back.  Something inside me had to prove to my family that I could be successful, and not piss my college years away partying. 

I’ve told the story before in a previous post, but when I graduated my mom said something along the lines of “what do you want a pat on the back?  You just graduated college.”  The just was a “you didn’t really accomplish much” jab.  It wasn’t enough.

When I decided to go back to get my bachelor’s in nursing school, I thought wow my family is going to be proud of me for getting two degrees.  No one really asked me how I was doing in school.  They didn’t really seem to care that I went through an accelerated program, and got my second bachelors in 15 months (psychotic, I know).  Once again going year round until I wanted to cry (and I did cry a SHIT ton) or admit myself to an insane asylum (I didn’t). 

I started a blog and fertility t-shirt line that hasn’t gone terribly.  I know some of my family read my blog, but they don’t know how hard I’ve worked to accomplish some of the things I’ve done through the all mighty and powerful social media. They weren’t proud of my writing or my passion behind infertility awareness.  Some of them actually talked shit about my social media behind my back.  I wasn’t surprised.  I think people who are insecure show their true colors when they see others that are dominating their goals.

I went to Haiti on a medical mission, and I thought “they are going to be so proud of what a giving heart I have”.  They weren’t. 

I got accepted into graduate school at UT for my masters in nursing to become a nurse practitioner.  I got a 4.0 my first semester.  I still rarely get asked how school is going, most of them don’t acknowledge the fact I go to school.  I have to tell them “HEY, I GOT A 4.0”.  I’m fucking proud as hell of myself.  So why do I feel so empty after all my accomplishments?!?!

I was seeking approval of others, specifically in these cases my family, who are not very giving of compliments.  My accomplishments have always been downplayed by them… why?! I honestly couldn’t tell you that.  I spent 33 years of my life hoping that one of them would say “Wow, you’re a badass.  You work so hard; your determination is second to none.”  I finally realized I’ll never get that from them, and I have to be okay with that.

Something hit me after I ended a terrible relationship (#NachoTwat for those who keep up with me).  I was tired of pleasing other people.  I was tired of giving a shit what anyone thought about me.  I was tired of trying to prove my worth to other people.

I’ve come to accept that my family will probably never give me the approval I’ve been searching for my entire life.  I have to be proud of myself.  I have to be fulfilled within me.  It took me 33 years to get to this point, and I hope for you youngins’ out there, that you figure this out quicker than I did because I can’t describe how much happier I am since my fucks flew out the window.  ((Flying fucks are everywhere in the greater Houston area.)) Doing stuff to try to get approval, respect, or love from anyone else won’t fulfill you if you aren’t doing it for yourself.   Here comes my Gandhi moment, you knew it was coming……

“Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love – you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” – Eckhart Tolle

Quitter, Quitter Chicken Dinner

Sharon
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Quitter, Quitter Chicken Dinner....That's the old saying, right?! I kid, I kid.

How many times have you wanted to quit something that is SUPER important to you?

Every. Damn. Day. is my answer.

Let me start by saying, I heard it a million times when I was working at the fertility clinic.  No one wanted to keep going after failed cycles.  They felt hopeless, drained, terrible, and didn't see an end to said terribleness. They wanted to throw in the towel so they didn't have to suffer through the ridiculous roller coaster that is infertility.  What kept almost all these couples going though?!  Their relentless drive to become parents. 

I for sure have been there.  Hell, I wanted to quit nursing school.  I wanted to quit my blog when I felt like I had zero emotions left in me. So far I haven't wanted to quit my graduate program, but I'm sure I'll feel broken eventually!  Relationships are really the thing that gets me though (if you haven't noticed the trend in my word vomit of honesty about my love life, sorry to all the men I have dated/or will be dating).  Relationships are hard (at least for me).  It takes work, balance, empathy, compassion, trust, honesty, humor, understanding, the list goes on.  Currently I got my MCM, and like the rest of my life, you know I had to pick a complicated one because Lord knows I don't do easy.  For me it's all about patience and sticking it through even when I have all my own self-doubt and insecurities bubbling up.  That's probably what is the hardest for me.  I have a lot of abandonment and trust issues thanks to my stellar upbringing, and I have to put in major effort to not bring those emotions into relationships.  WHY AM I ALWAYS SO HONEST?!?! It's a curse, really.  Any romantic relationship I start; I always want to quit.  I think being vulnerable, and truly trusting someone is terrifying to me.  It's like the Halsey song, "Bad at Love" says.... "I don't mean to frustrate, but I always make the same mistakes....I'm bad at love.. ooh ooh.. but you can't blame me for trying, you know I’d be lying saying you were the one, that could finally fix me, looking at my history."  My history is going into relationships not trusting, cutting out early so I don't get hurt. I guess I'm that quitter of a chicken dinner.

It's easy to want to quit something you feel overwhelmed with, unsure of, insecure about.  It's easy to say, "maybe this wasn't meant for me" and dip out when shit gets hard.  Maybe sometimes you're right to quit?!?!  One thing I have realized, at the school of hard knocks that I attended is this, you have ONE SINGLE LIFE.  ONE.  UNO.  SINGULAR. INSERT OTHER FORMS OF THE WORD ONE.  If you think down the road you can live without regretting your choice, go ahead, be a quitter.  But if there is even ONE tiny ounce of you that thinks, "I might regret this later" keep going until you have nothing left to give.  You'll know when you absolutely hit that rock bottom point.

"When you feel like quitting, think about why you started” I feel like a damn Beach Body coach (kidding, kind of).   I started school to become a nurse.  I started my blog to get out the ungodly amount of emotions I have in me.  I started graduate school to continue to give back to my community.  I started a relationship because I don't want to die an old lady, surrounded by cats, eating a bag of Doritos while watching reruns of Dr. Phil. ((My imagination is WILD, y'all.)) 

So, while some of y'all might be wanting to quit school or IVF or hell maybe even a relationship.  Truly dig deep, find your inner Bad and Boujee.  Make a pros and cons list.  Sleep on it.  Talk about it with someone that has more life experience than you.  Take a break. Run a mile.  Do some yoga.  Eat some queso. Drink a Tito's. Give yourself some time to process everything before you throw in the final towel. 

 

Not So Secondary

Sharon
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Something I've never touched on is secondary infertility.  For those unaware that’s not being able to get pregnant after previously conceiving a child.  

I can understand how frustrating that must be.  Not only are you unable to conceive a second child, but you also have to hear, "You have one healthy child you should just appreciate that."  Well no shit, Sherlock.  Of course you appreciate the fact that you are a parent, but you still shouldn't be made to feel bad for feeling down about not being able to add on to your dream family. The feelings of frustration that come with knowing you've done it once, but how can you get there again.  When will it happen?  The impatience that comes with all these emotions.  

I get it, maybe not in the exact same way, but I've heard similar things relationship wise.  After Nacho everyone told me that I would recover, I would be okay, he was shitty anyway (and he was).  That's not the point though, I was scared I was never going to have that strong of feelings again. I thought (very naive of me) that he was the one person that could provoke that many feelings inside of me.  I had to hear it 23823048234 times that I would move on.  I did.  The first 6 or so months after, I wasn't really interested in talking to anyone.  The last thing I wanted to do was to be tied down to someone when I was a hot mess myself.  I knew I needed time to get back to my old self.  When I finally felt like the old me (but better) I knew I was okay to try again.  Being 33 it ain't easy putting yourself out there, and going from a crazy life of traveling to a "normal" life, I knew this "secondary love" was going to have to really light a fire inside of me.  I mean we shall see how it all works out, but for the time being I can say that I am happier than I ever was during my Garth life.  I do feel naive now thinking nothing could match those feelings because what I feel now exceeds that.  It feels so much more real and natural than that fake glamorous life (that I wasn't even really living).  I was brought back to the real world, where things are reciprocated, I'm appreciated and being with someone that actually shows interest in me, as opposed to my old life where I was pretty much a peasant taking care of a Z-list celebrity.  **Side note but a totally funny story... my friend took pictures of Mitch and I when we were traveling one time.  These pictures looked like paparazzi style pictures, they were funny (I thought).  When he found out about them, he lost his shit and thought we were going to sell them to TMZ or something.  Pretty sure TMZ has to know who you are to care about some random ass pictures of you.  Funny nonetheless** Back to my point... I was annoyed hearing that I would get back to that happy point again because at the time I wanted to wallow in my misery, feel bad for myself, have a pity party... and I totally did.  Not now though... I wake up happy, not only because I'm enjoying who I spend my free time with, but happy because it's more real than I ever imagined, and due to my shit experience I feel like I can appreciate my MCM even more. I'm probably about to be one of those girls that says he's not my MCM he's my Man Crush Errrrryday (that's what the Basics say, right?)

Back to secondary infertility, if you want to be pissed off and not be all sunshine and rainbows because you are currently unable to conceive your second child, that's okay.  Tell those people making you feel bad about it to eat a dick, and you can feel however you want (because you can).

 I hope those of you who are suffering through secondary infertility are able to expand your families this year.  I hope those of you who are starting over in relationships find a stronger love than you could have imagined.  I hope those who have a huge life change embrace it for what it is and enjoy the chaos that may come with it. 

The best gift in life is a second chance.

Who Knew

Sharon
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Who knew a Ke$ha song could inspire me, does she even "$" her name anymore?!  My friend sent me this song a couple months ago (maybe longer, y'all know I can be a space cadet at times).  She said that it reminded her of me, pretty sure she was referring to the whole #NachoTwat situation.  I think it is really relevant to my mom situation as well.  I'm gonna break it down.......

Praying - Kesha

You almost had me fooled

Told me that I was nothing without you

That after everything you've done

I can thank you for how strong I have become

If any of you have ever been in an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship, I'm sure you've been told a time or two that you would be nothing without that person.   You know why, because they are narcissistic assholes and think that the world revolves around them.  If you have read my blog, you know I'm kind of a Betty Badass.  I don't put up with shit from anybody.  I'll fight a 7-year-old if I need to (kidding, kind of).  I'll share one of my most embarrassing (to me) stories that I suffered through with good ol Mitchy-poo (Mitch Rossell, for you new folks) at a time when I lost myself and allowed someone to treat me terribly.  We were in California.  Garth had back to back weekends in Anaheim and Fresno.  I joined him for almost a week.  Mitch decided he wasn't going to go back to Nashville in-between shows so he could spend time with his favorite person EVER (me). If he read this, he would be DYING right now, because I'm totally not his favorite person.  Anyways... I was on the redeye back to Houston so I was leaving on a Tuesday night.  I always had a separate hotel room because if you know this story MITCH HAD A BABY MAMA who made sure to FaceTime him on the reg to make sure there weren't any little Hussies (like myself) around.  Little Country Boy assumed I had booked my room through Tuesday night, and the cheap ass he is, he had planned to just move to my room so he could stay there until he had to go to Fresno (for FREE).  I didn't book my room that night (since I was leaving, duh), and the hotel was full.  He LOST HIS SHIT ON ME.  Legit psycho.  He told me to book my flight earlier, and get the hell out of California.  I was in tears.  He verbally attacked the shit out of me.  Pretty much let me know I was worthless, and he couldn't believe I could be so careless to make a mistake like that.  At the time, I was so broken by the verbal abuse that I was searching Kayak, Hotels.com, Expedia, anything to see if there was a room at the hotel available.  I finally came across a room on one of these websites and was so proud of myself that King Rossell didn't have to leave the hotel (at my expense).  I ran down to his room to tell him that he could stay, and I didn't have to change my flight to leave earlier.  Instead of saying, "Thanks for paying for that and making sure I had a room for tonight." He said, "way to cover your fuck up."  Sadly, I took it and continued to apologize.  This was one of MANY exchanges we had like this.  He let me know I would never be happy without him, guess what?! You were right... I am ECSTATIC without you. I got 99 problems, but a Mitch ain't one.  Back to the song..........

Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell

I had to learn how to fight for myself

And we both know all the truth I could tell

I'll just say this is I'll wish you farewell

I hope you're somewhere praying

I hope your soul is changing

I hope you find your peace, fallin' on your knees

Praying

Sadly, even though that happened on almost every trip with this Douche Canoe (had to throw that one in for my Dad, he actually just recently started to read my blog.  Who wants their parents reading all this terribleness?!? Sorry, Dad) I continued to push through because I'm not a quitter.  He really did put me through hell, a personal hell, that was so deep I couldn't escape.  Now that I'm 8 months free of this, I feel like I'm at a place I almost feel sorry for him.  Treating people like he does, has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with him.  What a sad soul.  I do hope his soul is changing, he'll be a married man soon (God Bless the both of y'all, Mr. and Mrs. NachoTwat) hopefully he stops whoring himself out.  And... back to the song again

I'm proud of who I am

No more monsters, I can breathe again

And you said that I was done, but you were wrong 

and now the best if yet to come

Cause I can make it on my own

I don't need you, I found a strength I've never known

I'll bring thunder, I'll bring burn

When Im finished, they won't even know your name

I am extremely proud of who I am.  If you read my "Holiday Hell" blog (two back) I didn't have the best childhood.  My Borderline mother always made sure that I felt like I was the worst person imaginable.  I believed it for a long time.  It's like she always wanted me to fail, the more she wished failure upon me, the more successful I became.  She hated it.  She hated me.  I'll share a story from my childhood that has always stood at the forefront of my mind.  My mom met random men, I have no idea how because Tinder wasn't around back in the 90's.  This one time she wanted to go on a date, I was fairly young.  Guess she couldn't find a babysitter, so she took me with her.  This guy lived on a tiny boat, and his name was David.  He had a son, I think around my age.  My mom took me on this man's boat/home, and ended up making me spend the night there sharing an incredibly tiny bed with this man's son that I didn't even know.  Who makes their kid sleep in a bed with a kid of the opposite sex so they can go and get it on?!?! Disgusting, right?  Way to be selfish, Mom.  Story of my life.  I have 7,864 way worse things that happened to me in my childhood, but for some odd reason, this one always bugged me.  My mom was so dependent on others, and I never wanted to be like her.  She always had to have a relationship, someone there.  I pride myself on my independence, on trying to be a badass and handle stuff by my damn self.  Independent woman, yo.  

Through all the times she left me or tried to make me feel bad about myself (she would call me a Lollipop when I was in high school because I was 90 pounds and she said I had a huge head.. probably skinny cause you didn't feed me, asshole) I persevered.  I pushed through the bad times because I knew I had the strength in me.  

Sometimes I pray for you at night

Someday maybe you'll see the light

Some say in life you gonna get what you give

But sometimes only God can forgive

I am a huge believer in karma.  For example, if I ever made fun of someone let's say a dumb example, like they had a zit, I would be afraid I would have acne for the rest of my life, so I try to keep my mouth shut.  I do believe that both these Twats mentioned in this blog will get what they deserve.  I think they will pay for the pain that they have caused, not only to me, but many people in their lives.  My goal for 2018 is to hopefully let go of a lot of the hurt.  Every day is easier for me, but there is still stuff I have to work through.  I can't listen to, "Ask Me How I Know" without wanting to jump off a bridge (dramatic, y’all don’t take me seriously).  I'm not over all the hurt my mother has caused me, and I probably won't be for a long time.  I do know that I will always be okay though.  I find my happiness in my accomplishments.  

Here's to hoping both of their souls are changing.

Thanks, Kesha for digging deeper than "Pedicure on our toes, toes.... don't stop make it pop.  DJ blowing my speakers up. Tik Tok"  (That song is kind of fun though).

Pressure Cooker

Sharon
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Holy moly was the pressure real for me going into my first finals week of graduate school.

Getting below an 80 is failing, it's a whole other ballgame than the business world I started out in.  I put pressure on myself to work hard, to be the best.  It's probably unnecessary pressure, but I'm sure we are all guilty of it.

You know when you already have all this self-inflicted pressure you don't want to add more people to the mix right?  I'll use an infertility example... I can't even count how many friends/patients/random people have told me about their IVF/FET cycles, and then let me know that I am the ONLY person that they have talked to about it (no pressure there, y'all).  You know why?! BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT THE PRESSURE OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THEIR CYCLES FAIL!!  What will happen, you ask (YES, YOU ASKED, go with me here)?!  The more people they let on to what they are dealing with, the more people they have to explain they "failed" at something, if it doesn't work. In short the more people they have to feel sorry for them, which only makes them feel worse.

I have a terrible example of this, but it's the only way I can make it pertain to my own life right now.  There was this person who wanted to wish me luck 292,282,202 times before every one of my advanced patho exams.  Text, on text, on text wishing me luck, sending me fucking four leaf clovers.  Overkill some may say.  I am hard as shit on myself, I do not like failing at anything.  I understand I can't be the best at everything, but it won't be due to a lack of effort on my part.  Any who... he didn't get that I didn't need more pressure to do well.  He would say, "You'll do great, you're so smart.. text me when you're done and let me know how you did." It messes with my mojo.  I felt like he was saying, "this test is super easy a kindergartener could do well on it, waiting to hear your ADHD ass made an A."  Maybe I'm fucked up?! If you are a regular around here, you know I have at least a few screws loose.  I couldn't handle it.  I finally said, "Listen, I can't have you texting me.  I have to handle this shit myself. “Am I an asshole? Probably.  But I know what I need in my life, and I know what stresses me out.  The stress had to go.  Sorry Charlie.

I'm sure this can pertain to anything that is truly important to you or anything that you hold close to your heart.  The more people you share with, the more people you open up to, the more explaining you have to do! Pretty sure it's a little thing called being vulnerable, which I totally blow balls at. Sure it's great when you have success your first IVF or FET cycle, but you know how bad it sucks for those going through their 3rd or 4th or 7th fertility cycle with people saying, "you're not pregnant yet?!?!"  Get the fuck outta here with that (hope you read that in like a tough Northern accent, not my southern twang with a y'all behind it).  If I had to take advance pathophysiology 3 times, I sure as hell wouldn't want people to know (thank you baby Jesus that I only had to take it once). 

Moral of my ever pointless story is sometimes you don't want to share things that are really important to you with everyone.  Sometimes you want to keep things to yourself because YOU don't even want to deal with the disappointment. 

Feeling a little Ghandi-ish today so I will leave you with this quote to ponder and wonder if I am really wiser than my Christmas Cake eating self may appear to be.....

"You'll never be brave, if you don't get hurt. You'll never learn if you don't make mistakes.  You'll never be successful if you don't encounter failure."

Here is to those of you (like me) who always strive for success, but don't always make the cut!

((I ended my semester with a 97% in Advanced Population Health, and an 89.3fucking5 in Advanced Pathophysiology))  Goodbye 4.0 dreams.

Holiday Hell

Sharon
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The holidays can be hard on those that don't have the most amazing relationships with their family members (raises hand).

It's crazy what an outpouring I've gotten from other people who have issues with their moms. So I'm going to share more of my story, although it's hard, it seems to be helpful to others.

My parents divorced when I was 5 or 6.  The memories I have from those years when they were married were terrible.  I was for sure in an extremely toxic environment.  

My mom worked at a bank, at the time, in a small town in Texas called Crosby, we legit only had a Walmart and a Sonic (add in “one stoplight” to make me sound like a real hick).  She was introduced to someone’s brother while working and ended up getting engaged and uprooting my older brother and I to Oklahoma.  I didn't know this guy, pretty sure my mom didn't have us spend much time with him, yet to Oklahoma we went with a stranger.

 The first few years were okay, but somehow my mother once again managed to get us in another bind.  Moving frequently due to her inability to be financially responsible was a strain on everyone.  She ended up getting another divorce. After divorce number two is when my life really started to spiral.  The things that I experienced, no child should ever have to.

 I was probably around 13 at the time, she went through a phase where she would leave me by myself, I would never know where she was or when she was coming back.  When she wanted to be gone more often is when things got weird..she started leaving me her car (yes, at the young age of 13/14).  At the time my brother was living with my Mom's second husband (probably to avoid my mom’s crazy) so it was just me, doing whatever the heck I wanted, because I had zero parental supervision.  

Fast forward maybe a year or two and my mom meets yet another guy (probably from the internet, I still have zero idea).  She comes home one day and tells me that I’m moving again.  Do what?!?!  I had never met this man either, history keeps repeating itself.  I expressed my concern to my mom.  She didn't care, she never cared.  

We packed up our tiny apartment and I moved into another man's home.  He was terrible.  I don't think terrible even describes this trash bag well enough.  He was a drunk and a smoker (like 12 packs a day INSIDE his house, okay I don't really know how many cigarettes, but this shit was constant), he was rude, he was loud, he was obnoxious, he was hateful, he was everything you wouldn’t want your child to be around.  Yet here I was.

  I didn't live there long.  After a tremendous amount of verbal abuse from my mom's Prince Charming of a THIRD husband (disgusting, not the third husband part because hell, maybe I’ll be there one day, but just his grossness in general) and the borderline personality peaks and valleys of my mother, they kicked me out. I'm sure she would tell you a totally different story because that's what it’s like living with a Borderline individual.  My mom had me painted in her head as a horrible, rebellious, disrespectful teenager which was the furthest thing from the truth.  I was a hard worker, made good grades, and was respectful of adults. Was I sassy?  Of course, I am who I am. 

I was 16 working at an Italian restaurant in Tulsa, having to support myself to make it through my last little bit of high school.  I didn't tell very many people this happened.  Only a handful of friends knew I was living on my own.

 When other kids my age were going home to a happy family who cared for them, I went home to my apartment, and wondered if I was going to have enough money to keep going.  My worries as a teenager were much different than my peers.  I didn't let anyone on to my problems though.  I've always been prideful.  I knew I could make it, and I did.  I graduated high school, applied to college, and ended up graduating in 3 years with my first bachelor’s degree (thank you chip on my shoulder for making me like a female version of Eminem). “Success is my only motherfucking option, failures not.” I always thought I was a little hood.

My relationship with my mom after I graduated college still wasn't great, but I was learning how to navigate her (finally, over 20 years later).  This woman seriously never liked me.  People tell me, "there is no way your mom didn't like you, parents aren’t like that."  I'm here to tell you there are parents like that.   Some days when I see girls on social media shopping with their mom or going home for the holidays, I get little pings of hurt in my heart.  I haven't talked to my mother since Thanksgiving of 2015, I honestly can't tell you why she won't talk to me, but she doesn't.  I think it's healthier for me to not have a relationship with her though.  I can say I don't care for her, I don't miss her, I honestly don't even know her.

Now at 33 looking back, I have no idea how I made it to where I am now, but I'm proud as hell of myself.  I always made the right decisions for me (probably because I had to, to survive).  I kept my virginity until I was way old and out of college, I never did drugs, I did drink (but what college kid didn't).  I chose to make the right life decisions for me because I had such a fantastic example of how not to be (my mother).

Working in infertility and seeing how much these couples want children was sometimes hard on me, coming from a mother who never wanted me, but it also inspired me to help these women get a gift that I knew they would actually cherish.

So when you look at the seemingly happy pictures of me on social media, know that my heart is a little bit harder than others, my childhood was not picture perfect, my teenager years were challenging, but I persevered.

If the holidays are hard on you, I understand.  If you've lived more than you should have at a young age, I understand that too. My life hasn’t always been sugar plums and candy canes, but if it wasn’t for my experiences, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  In a way, I’m grateful for everything that has challenged me, even if at the time I thought it was going to be what broke me.

 

 

Let It Go

Sharon
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More in the James Bay sense and not so much the world of Frozen, that was so 2013.

I know people on Instagram say, "People ALWAYS ask me _______________."  It annoys the shit out of me because are that many people seriously blowing you up asking that mundane of questions, but here is the one thing that people ask me on the reg.... "How are you always SO happy?"

If you've read my blog over the last two years, you know that's not true.

I didn't have a great childhood, it was okay, but my Mom was terrible to me (still haven't spoken to her, going on over two years now).  She feels no remorse for the things she's put me through, she'll never apologize.  If anyone has Mom issues, I feel you.

I haven't had great romantic relationships.  I've been cheated on more times than I can count, I've made terrible decisions myself.   I've allowed people to treat me way less than I deserve.

Someone messaged me on Instagram the other day, after Mitch was on the CMAs and sent me a link where he talks about how he and NachoTwat are now engaged.  That's right, 6 months after we broke up they are getting MARRIED. SO, SO, SO happy for them (sarcasm is oozing, if you aren't picking up on that).  I listened to the radio interview because who WOULDN'T want to listen to their ex talk about marrying a person that you know they despised.  The last two minutes of the interview he brings her up, and how he just HAD to meet her.  Same exact thing he said about me when we met in Las Vegas, real fucking original Mitch Rossell (enter slow clap).  Of course it hurt to hear that, I am human.  I text the one person who knows Mitch better than anyone, his name is Josh, and I am forever grateful to have met him through Mitch and to now have him as a lifelong friend.  Josh talked me off the ledge, reminded me to find the happy moments in my life, and not let this shitbag steal anymore of my time.  I let myself be sad for about 47 minutes.  I then put on my big girl (yoga) pants, went and got some delicious enchiladas, a margarita, and I was healed!!!

But for real, it hurt.  I have feelings somewhere in my dark, little soul (kidding, you sensitive Sallys).

I know through infertility, school, jobs, relationships you may feel like you'll never get over the bad times, the dark moments, the embarrassing shit that has happened to you (it always seems to happen to me).  You will.  Honestly, since I watched that radio clip I haven't thought much about it.  I have so much going for me now.  I'm kicking ass 12 ways till Sunday, and if I still was with that little musician, I wouldn't be this successful.  He held me back, he didn't want me to be great, he wanted submissive, non-opinionated, uneducated (and you bet your ass he got exactly what he wanted, sorry Nacho, throwing that shade your way.  You'll always be Twat numero uno to me though :) )

Although I’ve been through some rough times in my life (regardless of how effortless I make life look on social media, so effortless right?!?!?!) I take those times that were less than stellar and try to look at them differently.

"Everything that’s broke, leave it to the breeze." - James Bay

That's what I've done and continue to try to do.  The moments that had "broken" me in the past are now the moments I look at as those who made me what I am today, one tough ass mother F'er.

For those of you who read my blog because you're dealing with infertility, when I started this two years ago, I started following a decent amount of women on Instagram who felt hopeless.  They had been through years of infertility; thought they were going to be the one couple who didn't end up with a child.  I can tell you now that probably over 80% of those couples have babies.  It's amazing to watch.

For those who read my blog because you've dealt with shit relationships be it spouse, mom, baby daddy, baby mama, whatever.. you'll feel better.  You'll get over whatever asshat made you feel less than what you are.  My friends that truly know me saw me cry constantly over Mitch, saw the verbal abuse I was dealt on an almost daily basis.  I didn't think I would get out of it.  I did.

And for those of you who read my blog because my ridiculous life makes you feel better about yourself, you're welcome. :)

It'll All Get Better in Time

Sharon
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I was studying at Starbucks today because I obviously do nothing besides study since starting my graduate program.  This Starbucks was playing all the jams of 2007, and just like that I was inspired to write again!

A little background story.  A very good friend of mine went through IVF.  She ended up with three embryos, but only one of them made it.  She transferred that one embryo, and now has an extremely cute little baby.  She went through a lot to get to this point though.  Only having that one embryo at the time of transfer, praying this one would stay put.  It was emotionally draining for her.  She thought, just like everyone else, she would get married, and start her family shortly after with no trouble.  No one in her family had suffered from infertility, it wasn't something she thought she would have to deal with.

Nine months flew by and when her baby popped his gorgeous head into this world she was thankful that he was here, but something was off.  I think when dealing with infertility you go through SO MUCH, like a ridiculous amount.  It's emotionally draining, all you can think about is having a baby.  Your priorities are all in the land of baby.  You lose track of everything else because you are CONSUMED.  You may feel frantic, like you're grasping at straws because you want it SO bad.  Then it happens.  

Your baby arrives and everyone is ecstatic for you, hell you're happy too but you still feel off.  You might feel guilty for feeling off?! 

Children are life changing.  Your hormones are going to be bonkers.  Once you've spent 30 plus years (or however old you are) just taking care of yourself, and then you have this tiny human to take care of, it can be overwhelming.  For example, my friend is a badass, she's independent as all get out, she's hard working.  She went through a lot of changes and now has a baby to take care of.  Add to it; she left her job, and she is as hormonal as a tsunami. (Sometimes I don't make sense, and I'm okay with that).  She didn't feel as happy as she thought she was supposed to feel. 

Society puts some real shit on women, you know?!  Like pop out a baby and act like you're still shitting rainbows, posting gorgeous photos on social media of yourself with your newborn, and your perfectly clean home.  IT'S NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE.  For those of you that can do that, bravo, that's impressive.  If you've gone through infertility and don't feel over the moon happy 24/7 now that you have the baby you've waited your whole life for, don't beat yourself up.  Some days (sometimes weeks) really F'ing suck.  

I have those days all the time.  I might not have dealt with infertility, but I do know the feeling of thinking you have everything you want and still not feeling happy.  I've felt extremely guilty about it.  The guilt built up and made me feel even worse about myself.   Don't beat yourself up just because you aren't shitting thank you notes of gratitude for getting the life you've always wanted.  

Now for the song that inspired me. There once was a time I never thought I would be over Mitch.  That little douche canoe turned 30 yesterday, and I didn't even think of him until I saw the date today.  I never thought I would get here. ((I absolutely love making jokes about him because he HATED if I ever talked about him publicly, for obvious reasons #NachoTwat.)) Leona Lewis said it best, "I'm gonna smile because I deserve to, it'll all get better in time."  And it does.  The bad times don't last forever, lonely feelings will sink away, and you'll get use to whatever your new normal is. If you still feel down...be a basic bitch like me. Go to Starbucks, get a cheese danish (or Pumpkin Spiced Latte for you real basics, jk love y'all.. Boop), and hopefully they'll be playing some jams to cheer you up, at least momentarily. :) It'll all get better in time.

 

Being Different

Sharon
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How many times have you heard, "you're different now"?!

I saw someone post the other day on Instagram that they weren't invited to a recent family function because they were acting "different" and closed off.  The reason she was acting this way is because she had recently suffered through a miscarriage, and just wasn't up to faking the funk.  Instead of being supportive and understanding of a tough situation, her family decided to cut her out (at least momentarily).

You're for sure "different" when dealing with infertility.  You can become impatient wondering how long all this shit is going to continue on for.  You can become cold because you are tired of seeing everyone around you get pregnant, and you may not feel like being happy for them. You can become numb because you don't want to deal with the hurt that comes with every roadblock along the way of becoming pregnant.  You can see the positives of being "different" though as well; you may be impatient, but once you get to the goal you may realize you are actually more patient than you ever imagined.  You may have been a huge titty baby before infertility crying over a paper cut, when now you're Betty Badass injecting yourself with all sorts of meds. You may go through hell to get there, but once you do you'll realize how strong you actually are.

I know my big changes that have made me different have been through relationships.  My recent one, the lovely NachoTwat, was probably the roughest on me.  I'm not who I was before that relationship.  I'm harder now, I have walls bigger than the Great Wall of China up, I'm cold, and I trust less. I'm for sure happier than I was though.  I'm super focused on improving myself, currently going through graduate school to become a nurse practitioner.  I'm volunteering, putting myself in situations that I'm not terribly comfortable with.

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." - Ernest Hemingway

Where I was "broken" (relationships), I'm stronger now.  I value myself more than I ever have.  I know my worth, and I know my standards.  If it weren't for that little troll and his NachoTwat of a baby mama, I wouldn't be here.

For myself, I know that I can make it through whatever life is going to throw at me (although I hope it takes it easy until at least 2019 because I can't handle school plus random shit storms).  Try to see the sliver of light in the cracks of your life, one day it will all be perfectly pieced together.

Scrub Life

Sharon

Urbane by Landau

It's totally scary jumping into new things.  If you are new to the world of infertility or just making a huge life change.

I made that kind of decision in my mid 20's and I'm so glad I did.  When I was in college at Oklahoma State, my dream was to be a history teacher.  I'm the most impatient person in the world so I would actually be a horrible teacher, and I don't even have a passion for history (trust me, I confuse myself).  My Dad said that I was way too expensive to be a teacher anyway which is when I decided to switch to business.  After graduating I worked in the oil industry for a little while.  What a passionless job that was for me too.  I thought, "what the hell, this is all life has to offer me."  I didn't feel like I was doing anything rewarding or that helped others.  Which is what I was the most passionate about.  

It was scary as heck going back to college and being one of the "older" people in class (even though I know I was still pretty young).  It was seriously the best decision I have ever made in my life.  It not only helped me pursue a career I am MUCH more interested in, but it's allowed me to help so many people.  From my fertility blog to my medical mission trip to Haiti.  These things wouldn't have been possible if I wouldn't have taken that risk. 

Now about to jump back into school to obtain my Master's in Nursing.  It's like you kind of forget what school is like when you've been out for a while.  It's hard work, it's stressful, and I shed more tears in nursing school than probably I have in my entire 32 years of living, UT is killer y'all.  They don't play.

When I started nursing school there for my undergrad, one of the things I was most excited about was wearing scrubs.  I had been in the corporate world where I had to really think about my outfit every day.  It was fun to actually wear clothes that were comfortable, cute, and still fit me well.  I started out in Landau scrubs my first day of school, and now coming back full circle starting grad school out in my newest Landau scrubs.

Urbane by Landau

 

Purchase at http://bit.ly/2uiAnAL

New things are always scary.  Change is scary.  I have to remind myself that you only live once.  I wasn't going to spend my days wasting away in the oil field not serving anyone.  Now I can envision a life of fulfillment through helping others.  If your life dream is switching careers, pursuing parenthood, or going to the fucking moon, DO IT!  One day you'll be old as heck, and I personally don't want to live with any regrets!

Try and Try Again

Sharon

Stick with me here because I got a whole lot of feelings going on right now.

I think one of the scariest things (amongst a sea of scary things) when dealing with infertility is trying again after a failed cycle.   I don't know how some of y'all do it, for reals.  Giving everything you have cycle after cycle and not getting the outcome you've been dreaming of has got to be beyond defeating.  

One of my most memorable patients (and up there on my list of favorites) probably would have scared most.  She was a tough cookie, she looked a little sketchy like she could pull a knife out of her bra and shank you at any minute, but I liked her (I obviously kind of enjoy living on the edge).  She got pregnant quickly after her first IVF cycle with twins (PGS tested), but ended up losing both of them around 10 weeks. Shocking, I know since they were tested.  It was devastating, and I think her husband cried more than any man I've ever seen which was heartbreaking on its own.  I didn't know when they would be ready to try again, but when she came back, she came with guns blazing (figurative guns).  She was so ready, and just had the best attitude ever. She had lost some weight, had quick smoking, and was overall trying to be better.  It worked because she ended up getting pregnant after her first FET since her loss, and now has a healthy baby girl.

Rebounding from such a tragic event is amazing to me.  I can try to empathize the best that I can, but not living it, I just see so much strength in couples' ability to continue after situations like this.  Facing their fears of transferring their last PGS embryo after losing two that they thought for 10 weeks were a sure thing, takes a complete leap of faith.

This is where my feelings come in.  Starting over for me is scary too, although extremely different, still scary.  

  1. What happens if the next one is a sociopathic weirdo just like the littlest country singer in all the land?
  2. What if I get hurt again? (2,230,308 time, but who's keeping track)

But really what I'm the most afraid of is that I will never feel what I felt with the unmentionable person.  It was intense.  I know that intense isn't always good, but I love change, adventure, excitement, the unknown and with him I got ALL that (and more).  I never really knew what was to come.  I bounced from city to city getting to experience things I never had, becoming more independent with each trip.  Even though I could tell you 100 bad things about him and the relationship, I don't know if anything will ever be able to match the fun and excitement I felt during most of the last year of my life, and THAT is scary.  Whoever comes along next is going to have the biggest, littlest (get it; because Mitch was so tiny?!?) shoes to fill.  Not because he was a superstar guy that treated me amazing, but because those feelings were off the chart. Gwen says it best, "I don't know why I cry, but I think it's because I remembered for the first time since I hated you, that I used to love you."  Tough pill to swallow y'all (and side note; I don't cry but that song is legit). 

Starting over is scary whether it's infertility, a job, or in my case endless shit relationships :) Persistence pays off.  Patience gets you further.  Resilience keeps you in the game.

Advice Column

Sharon

Have you noticed how good people are at throwing advice your way?

I swear everyone is an expert at something these days.  I remember when I use to get on social media, and be bored by the mundane day to day stuff people use to post.  Now I'm annoyed because everyone is a life coach, fitness expert, nutritional genius, professional advice columnist. 

Last week Garth traveled through the great state of Oklahoma.   Where he goes, that shit head Mitch goes.  I didn't even realize he was in Oklahoma (because I don't follow that life anymore) until my phone started blowing up with friends telling me they were going to the concert, and would most likely see that little guy opening for him.  Of course I was asked, "Are you Okay?" "How are you feeling?"  Well not fucking great to be honest. It was like a wave of all those past feelings came crashing back over me.  I was given advice like "you should avoid social media", "you probably shouldn't even respond to text about him."  Yeah, thanks fucking geniuses let me get on avoiding the inevitable barrage of social media Garth post that are about to ensue.   

I got the same advice mid-relationship (during the bad times).  "You shouldn't respond when he tries to talk to you." "You should end it with him."  Okay, so maybe some of these assholes were right, but when you are in the midst of something and only you know how you feel, it's hard to listen to anyone else.

Social media might be the worst about this.   Everyone and their dog telling you to keep your feet warm or eat some damn pineapple to get pregnant.  If it were that easy don't you think a lot more people would do just that?  A friend of mine recently went through her final FET process, and asked if I thought that stuff would help.  I told her honestly, I think its all mental, and you should be true to yourself.  Now true to her was putting on some Bad and Boujee, eating a moderately healthy diet, and just being relaxed.  She didn't have all this voodoo shit she felt compelled to do just because that's what everyone else was doing.   I mean if that's your thing; put those socks on, eat the shit out of some pineapple (or purchase some clothing that has a ton of pineapples on it because obviously that's the new craze), spin around in a circle 4 times, and pray that everything works out.  What works for someone else might not work for you.  

Some people may do better in my situation staying off social media and pretending as if Mitch never existed.  For me, I'm all about facing what happened, feeling and working through the hurt.  No one can give you better advice than yourself, but if you seek advice from others and don't listen to it you're just an ask-hole. :)  Find your balance.

Begin Again

Sharon

Like a dang Taylor Swift song..

One of the questions I dislike answering the most, "How long should I wait to try again?"  (After a failed FET, failed IVF cycle, or a miscarriage.)

First of all, there could be health reasons that could hinder your ability to jump right back in, a few examples; your HCG isn't to 0, your progesterone is high, your ovaries are still the size of basketballs.  Physiologically the answer can be easy, you need to wait until your body is ready.  Emotionally is a whole other ball game.

People in general are so quick to jump to the next thing.  My life example of course is going to be relationships because if you read my blog, you know I do NOT get a gold star in that area.

I knew after my #NachoTwat fiasco it was going to take me time to process the whirlwind of emotions I had dealt with over the last year.  I wasn't myself immediately after it all went to shit.  Slowly, I feel like I'm getting back there, but if I'm being totally honest I still think about him on the rare occasion.  Oddly, I don't harbor too many ill feelings toward Mitch, mostly because I'm a big believer in karma, and when that shit hits him it ain't gonna be pretty.  I never put a time frame on when I needed to fully heal from this, and I think just taking my time to get over it has helped me tremendously.  I don't feel the need to replace that empty feeling that accompanies the end of a relationship.  I learned to enjoy my "me time" more than I even did before.  I know when I'm ready to try again, hopefully with a non-musician douche, I'll be able to give 100% of myself.

I see women go through failed cycles, lose PGS normal embryos, you can tell they are still a hot fucking mess, but they jump right back in again.  They don't give themselves time to heal emotionally, and this shit is traumatic y'all.  I think a big part of why they jump back in is time.  In general people are scared to "waste" time because no one is getting younger, and it's scary not knowing when it will finally work out for you.  

One lady, for example, went through a horribly traumatic event.  She lost her child to a domestic violence incident.  She didn't inform anyone of what she had been through during her consult.  Some red flags started to pop up and we soon found out that she had just lost her child just 3 months before coming in for treatment.  Obviously this is an extreme example, but I still think grief is an important process that a lot of people tend to skip over.  ((*Side note: she didn't go through with treatment because she had to pass psych clearance.))

In no way am I saying that there is a set time table for grieving, I understand it's different for everyone.  Be it 2 days, 2 months, 2 years, everyone gets there on their own time, but I think it's important not to rush it.  I mean unless you're like 55 and have to get pregnant this second because well, legalities. :I 

A big part of the fertility game is emotional, and no matter if your body is ready or not, if your head ain't in the game my advice is don't do it.  I say the same thing to myself when I'm thinking of entertaining anything seriously.  I'm really just enjoying life (and cheese danish, Cheetohs, tacos, queso) and taking it day by day!

 

Boundaries

Sharon

Someone I have grown close to (not a patient) was about to go through the transfer process, and she didn't want anyone to know since this was her last embryo, her last hoorah.  She didn't want the barrage of questions that come post-transfer, even if the questions were coming from a good place.  She ended up telling one of her friends who was already pregnant, and I think she instantly regretted it.  After she opened that can of worms of course she was asked, "when will you know" "how are you feeling?"  Going through the transfer process is stressful enough.  Most women are nervous as shit without having to deal with other people wanting to (kindly) stick their nose in their business.  Setting boundaries for people who have good intentions is hard because you really don't want to come across as a dick, but when dealing with fertility issues your sanity is pretty dang important.  Letting the people in your life know what you're going through, and the place that they can have in the process is important.  Those who haven't dealt with fertility issues have no idea what it’s like; so to them asking, "are you pregnant yet?" might seem innocent while you're mentally murdering them when those words slip out of their dirty mouths. (Kidding, kind of.)

This is oh so personal for me.

I have lacked boundaries a good majority of my life.  I mentioned in my last blog how my relationship with my Mom is nonexistent.  She was the start of my lack of life boundaries.

My mother isn't your typical mom.  Pretty sure she never wanted me, and she let that be known for most of my life.  I let her treat me however she felt, and the loon she is her feelings for me changed as often as the fucking wind.    My mother said horrible things to me my entire life, never hugged me, never said she loved me.

 For instance; I graduated from college with my first bachelor’s degree in 3 years because my brother told me I couldn't (thanks, Justin).  Was my mom happy for me?! Absolutely not.  After I walked across the stage my mom was in a bad mood about something, came up to me and said, "You only graduated from college, why do you think you deserve more than a pat on the back."  Let me add I was the first person from my immediate family to graduate from college, and the first person from my Dad's side to ever graduate from college.  To me it was a big deal.  I let my mom say what she needed, and I said nothing back.

When I got married (WAY too young) my mom came with me after my dress was altered. In my head I envisioned one of those movie like scenes where the bride walks out in the dress, and the mother of the bride cries tears of happiness; then I remembered this was my mom.   I walked out and she looked at me and said, "You look short."  She never said anything else, not even on my wedding day.  Again, I took her snide remarks, and just kept trekking along.

Those two examples may seem small, but they were pretty important moments to me, my mother made me feel like shit and I said nothing.  I let her hurt my feelings and cross boundaries continuously.  This is just a very tiny example of how every day of my life was with this woman.

This carried on to other parts of my life as well.  Obviously the guy I married had little respect for my boundaries (The Colombia scandal, read like 15 blogs back if you're interested).  Mitch didn't know what the word boundary even meant (#NachoTwat, 3 blogs back).  I was so afraid that if I told these people that how they were acting wasn't acceptable to me, that they would leave.  I let people cross my boundaries my entire life because all I knew was to keep people happy without caring how it made ME feel.

A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect.

My lack of boundaries is probably different than most, but either way it's important to maintain them with whatever situation life is throwing at you.  

 My give a shit about upsetting people if they cross my boundaries is at an all-time low.  I think I realized I don't want anyone in my life (including my mother) who is going to make me unhappy in any way.   Life is too wonderful to let too many assholes linger around :)

Lessons Learned

Sharon

I know I'm extremely cynical.  I never believed in all that "you live and you learn, everything happens for a reason" bullshit.  All the cliché things that I thought people said just to make themselves feel better.  

I'm 32 years old and I've suffered from discontentment my entire life. My childhood was less than ideal.  My Mom is kind of a looney toon (and by kind of, I mean a major loon).  My parents were divorced when I was 5 or 6.  I went through multiple Step-Dads, and a lot of time where my Mother was less than Motherly (that's being really kind to her).  She never hugged me, never said she was proud of me, for sure never said she loved me.  Currently I haven't heard from my mom in two years.  I learned to accept that I'm not one of those people who will ever have an awesome Mother/Daughter relationship.  I probably won't ever have a relationship with her at all to be honest.

I think through my experiences I've become hard.  How I grew up, I always felt like I had to prove myself.   I wanted to be the best at everything, and always wanted more.  I needed a vacation every 3 months.  I had to have a monthly goal be it; a half-marathon, another degree, going to Haiti on my medical mission trip.  I pushed myself to a crazy point and whenever I reached the goal I set, I still wasn't happy.

Then comes ol' Mitchy boy and Nacho Twat.  When I met Mitch (the country singer; for those of y'all not up to speed go back about 3 blogs) I was SO excited.  I mean how fun is it to travel along on the Garth Brooks World Tour.  I thought this was it, this was what was FINALLY going to make me happy.

He broke my heart.  (Shattered it; would probably be more accurate.)  Shit just wasn't meant to work out for me.  I wasn't happy before Mitch, I wasn't happy with him, and post-Nacho I thought I might be one of those people who will just never be happy.

A few days after #NachoTwat2017, I went for a run.  I live in a beautiful city called The Woodlands.  It's like living in the damn enchanted forest where squirrels are high-fiving and birds are singing songs on your shoulder.  It's a Disney movie just north of Houston.  Any who... I went for a run and I was going through this break in the trees where the sun was shining through, and I had the BIGGEST smile on my face like a damn idiot.  Smiling at the trees.  For the first time in 32 years I realized I was TRULY content.

I wasn't beating myself up for not breaking a 9-minute mile.  I wasn't worried about if Mitch was going to reach out to me (obviously burnt that bridge, thank God).  I wasn't worried about when my mother was going to actually act like an adult.  I wasn't worried about when my next vacation was or what my next goal was.  I was happy being me; running a super slow mile in 500-degree humid ass Houston.

Every day since then I've woken up happy as a clam.  I notice everything now, I'm so present in the moment.  If it weren't for Mitch and Nacho I would NEVER be here.  So although he broke my heart, although I thought I would NEVER get over him, although my life went from a different city every weekend to never leaving The Woodlands, I'm content.

Sometimes painful things can teach us lessons that we didn't think we needed to know.  My lesson was contentment.

I know infertility is different, but I also know that through the struggles you become stronger.  Through the loss you learn to appreciate more. You can say I'm full of shit because a month ago I would have agreed with you, but once you get to that moment where everything in your life finally adds up, you'll look back and say, "By golly, that Bitch had a point." :)